Ian Maatsen becomes the latest Chelsea academy prospect to be eyed by another club. I can not say that I am surprised that the 20-year-old is grabbing the attention of others. His loan spell at Coventry City has just opened a can of worms for the Blues, and they will need to act fast.
According to BILD, Borussia Dortmund’s bosses are interested in bringing the Dutchman over to Germany. I thought it rather strange that Dortmund would be looking for a new left-back, considering their array of options in that particular area. However, it seems that Raphael Guerreiro and Nico Schulz could both be out of the club this summer, leaving only Tom Rothe in pole position. Nico Schulz’s contract runs out this summer, meaning that either way, someone will need to fill his space.
I remain content with the idea of selling on our youngsters if there is no room in the Chelsea first team. The worst thing you could do is hamper their growth by keeping them on loan to multiple clubs until we’re ready. But losing Maatsen would be devasting, and Dortmund’s interest is exactly why.
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Dortmund has an eye for sniffing out young talent. They signed Robert Lewandowski at the age of 21, Ousmane Dembélé at 17, Erling Haaland at just 19, Jadon Sancho at 18, Jude Bellingham at 16, and the list goes on. The point is that they know talent when they see it. Inevitably they turn their young talent into absolute monsters, delivering week in, week out. Imagine what they could do with Ian Maatsen. Now Imagine what Chelsea could do with him if they just gave him a chance.
Thomas Tuchel will be thin of options in the defense going into the transfer window this summer. Marcos Alonso looks to be on his way out the door with Barcelona requesting his signature, and Ben Chilwell is still in recovery mode after tearing this ACL in November last year. Instead of scouring through the transfer window looking for the next best thing, Tuchel could turn his eyes to the development squad and find what he’s looking for.
Having played at Coventry City for the season, Maatsen has undertaken a left wing-back role, different from his more traditional left-back position. He has completely bossed it and has become a fan favorite for the Coventry City fanbase, winning Young Player Of The Season. Tuchel would be able to use the young star to his advantage in the rebuild towards success.
Tuchel himself has a way with the younger generational talents. He has shown it at Mainz, Dortmund and with the work he’s done with one of the best players in the world, Kylian Mbappe. There’s no doubt that he could work with Maatsen and cultivate him into the world-class player that he could become. We’re pretty much seeing him do it with Reece James now.
If he does go out on loan, the club will likely sign another player to play back to Chiwell as he gets back to full fitness. Then his chance and faith in getting a chance could plummet come next summer.
Let’s not forget, just twelve months ago, many Chelsea fans did not rate Trevoh Chalobah so high, and he was deemed not up to the level needed. With a pre-season under his belt, he showed he was more than good enough to be part of the squad, and the u-turn on sending him on loan happened.
Maatsen has the quality to do the same again this summer if given a chance. Sometimes loans to sides pull players back as much as they push them forwards in their careers, as Ethan Ampadu showed at Leipzig and Billy Gilmour at Norwich.
Although the links are currently to take him on loan and loaning him to a side that has a track record of taking youngsters onto the next level is worthy of listening to. The warning sign that a top team that develops talents wants to have him part of their squad is just another sign he is destined for a great career and Chelsea should take notice and give him a chance in pre-season before making a decision.